It’s Philly Tech Week, in case you haven’t heard — and to kick off the festivities gamers played a few rounds of classic arcade game Pong on the side of a skyscraper. Because, you know, why not?
Billed as “The Grandest Game of Pong on the Planet,” the project is the brainchild of Frank Lee, a professor at Drexel University and the director of the school’s game development program. The massive LED display that serves as the game’s screen took up the entire 410-foot-tall wall of the Cira Centre in West Philadelphia on April 19th, and will return on April 24th. Potential players applied through a lottery for their chance at a round.
(MORE: Happy Birthday, Pong)
“The idea for this project began in 2008 when I was driving East on I-76 in Philadelphia at night heading towards Center City,” Lee writes on his website. “I saw the sparkling lights of the beautiful Cira Centre building … In my mind’s eye I saw Tetris shapes outlined by those lights rotating and falling. Thus began my long journey to make a game out of those lights.” And while Tetris doesn’t appear to have worked out, the massive version of the classic Atari tennis game is arguably even cooler.
Lee spent about five years developing the project — with a good portion of that time dedicated to lobbying the realty group that owns the skyscraper. The folks over at Technically Philly have documented the projection’s evolution here. As seen in the video, the result is rather mesmerizing.